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Babies and Distractions

Electronic Baby Toys Associated with Decrease in Quality and Quantity of Language in Infants – Neuroscience News Hummm…. it seems babies are primed to learn how to be human from other humans. Put them in front of a cheap blinking machine and they will become more like a machine, and less effective at being human. This includes not just language, but I’m sure that is one of the easier things to...

Dogmatism and the “Waldorf Critics”

I’ve been tuning in and out to the chatter of the Waldorf Critics for years now. Frankly, I find most of it tedious. But I do often ponder the significance of the Waldorf Critics as a phenomenon. One thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the nature of dogmatism. A frequent criticism levied against the whole Waldorf movement on the WC list is that everyone in it is a dogmatic Steiner devotee. What...

Minority representation in Waldorf – Part 5

Why is minority representation in the Waldorf movement is so low? Much research shows that hiring processes based primarily around interviews are inherently biased against minorities, as well as a very poor indication of actual subsequent job performance. In the interview process, people tend to screen for the type of person that like to hang out with, rather than for actual abilities. This is why research has shown the...

Minority representation in Waldorf – Part 4

Why is minority representation in the Waldorf movement is so low? So far I have focused mostly on the question of enrollment. The final factor is doubtless faculty. It would seem obvious that a Waldorf school with strong minority representation on the faculty will tend to attract more minority students, though in reality that would be a point for further research. A nearly all-white faculty as exists in most Waldorf schools...

Minority representation in Waldorf – Part 3

Why is minority representation in the Waldorf movement is so low? In addition to the "Waldorf schools are no better, though no worse, than anywhere else in society" reasons that I outlined in my last post, there may be additional things particular to the nature of Waldorf schools that additionally work to discourage minorities from applying. This area, too, requres more inviestigation. One area to look would be...

Minority representation in Waldorf – Part 2

Why is minority representation in the Waldorf movement so low? With demographics (as I discussed in my last post) being to my mind the largest factor, there are still plenty of other reasons why minorities may or may not be attracted to Waldorf schools. In preparing and teaching my “Minorities and the American Experience” course I read through quite a few books on the sociology of race relations in late 20th and...

Minority representation in Waldorf – Part 1

Someone asked me recently why minority representation in the American Waldorf movement is so low. That got me thinking, and I have a few ideas. The Waldorf school of Garden City is the most diverse Waldorf school in North America (if by diversity you mean lots of different minorities; The Baltimore Waldorf School and the Milwaukee Waldorf Charter have more nonwhites in total, though they are all from one group). The reasons...

PLANS loses lawsuit agains Waldorf-methods Charter...

I wrote an article for the Waldorf Critics Observer about PLANS’ stinging defeat in US Federal court. On September 14 th, 2005 PLANS lost its seven-year old lawsuit attempting to have public-methods Waldorf Charter schools in two California school districts declared religious schools and shut down for violating the Constitutional separation of Church and State (known as the Establishment Clause, because it reads,...

Do you have to be an anthroposophist to be a Waldo...

The question often comes up, do you have to be an anthroposophist to be a Waldorf teacher? The simple answer is, No, as Steiner himself demonstrated. According to Emil Molt: Dr Steiner was broad-minded in his choice of teachers. As an example, the sister of one of my acquaintances had applied to the Waldorf School. She was a teacher by profession but did not know the first thing about anthroposophy or of the personality of...

How Waldorf Education got its name

I read an interesting book the other day: "Emil Molt and the beginnings of the Waldorf School Movement". It’s an autobiography by Emil Molt, the man responsible for the first Waldorf School. I wrote a review on my site. An interesting portion covered the story of how Waldorf Education came to be called “Waldorf”. According to Molt: The story of the "Waldorf Astoria" goes back to John...

Emil Molt and the beginnings of the Waldorf School...

Emil Molt and the beginnings of the Waldorf School Movement: Sketches from an Autobiography By Emil Molt, edited by Christine Murphy Book Review by Daniel Hindes This engaging and direct autobiography by Emil Molt gives you a real sense for his personality. Modest, competent, and a little stiff, he remained a warm and well-intentioned human being. Born in southern Germany, he was orphaned at 13. After finishing high school...

Faculty Conferences

The contents of the volumes “Faculty Meetings With Rudolf Steiner” (also known as Faculty Conferences or Conferences with Teachers) belong to the least reliable portion of Rudolf Steiner’s works. What you are reading is a translation of a summary by an editor of the notes of some of people who were sitting in the faculty meetings. These are not word for word stenographic recordings, and certainly not...